Heriot’s stand-off Stuart Edwards admits he had some tough days during his 15-month injury lay-off, but he is now back in action and looking forward to 2017.
With 14 tries being scored as the Goldenacre outfit took on select side the Co-Optimists on Monday – the game ending 41-41 – a conversion may not have been the highlight of the match for many.
However, for 25-year-old Edwards the two points he scored with a kick in the second half completed a comeback from a bad knee injury that occurred in October 2015.
“It was in a match against Boroughmuir at Meggetland and I just took a pass and then my knee seemed to give way,” Edwards explained.
“It was the first time I had done anything like that so at first I was hoping it was not as serious as it might have been, but once I was told that I would need to get an operation on my left knee I had to prepare myself for a long lay-off.
“It was tough mentally at times and a long old slog, sometimes the rehab can be hard and you really have to push yourself to get to the gym.
“Thankfully, for most of the period of time I was living in a flat with Edinburgh Rugby pros Sean Kennedy and Glenn Bryce, who I have been friends with since I was young, and they helped push me on.
“I also know Grant Gilchrist well and he was helpful too as he has had to bounce back from injury himself a few times.
“It was also quite hard watching the Heriot’s guys winning lots of trophies and not feeling a part of it. In my first season at the club [in 2014/15] we won the BT Premiership and then at the start of 2015/16 we won the BT Charity Shield before my injury.
“Then while I was out the guys won two more trophies and while I was of course delighted, not being on the pitch helping them made it hard.
“I knew that I was going to come on at half-time against the Co-Ops and felt a bit rusty out there and because it was my left knee – my kicking knee – that I injured.
“Some of the kicks I put in were not the best, but it is a start and I will get there. I am just glad to be back now and am looking forward to playing my part for the rest of the season.”
The former Stirling County player, who is a Club XV cap and now teaches PE at Stewart’s Melville College, has returned at a vital time for Heriot’s.
With four BT Premiership matches remaining the reigning champions are outside of the play-off places and face a crucial clash against fourth-placed Currie on January 14.
“That is the match that we are all focused on, we know that we really need a win in that one to keep our play-off bid going,” Edwards said.
“We always have close matches with Currie and I would imagine that one will be the same with so much at stake, we just have to make sure we are ready for it.
“Personally I am just aiming to be in the squad for that one because I know other stand-offs Alex Hagart and Ewan Fox have done well in my absence.
“We have some great young players at the club at the minute and I feel quite old when I look around the dressing room!”